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Oliver’s Story

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

- Emily Dickinson

On February 25th 2011, we took Oliver to the ER for what we thought were health issues related to constipation. After a bevy of tests, the doctors found a sacrococcygeal teratoma (which is a type of "germ cell tumor") growing from his tailbone into his abdominal cavity. The tumor was impacting his bladder, causing his belly distention and lots of discomfort. He was immediately transferred to the Pediatric Oncology unit at UNC's Children's Hospital. A few days later, Oliver underwent biopsy surgery to confirm the type of tumor and its stage of development, which the doctors determined was "stage 3". Oliver's tumor was malignant but had not metastasized.

Oliver underwent the standard protocol to treat his type of cancer, which was 4 rounds of chemotherapy (starting 3/4/2011). Each round took 5 days with a 2 week break in-between. After 4 rounds, the tumor shrunk in size by half. In early June '11, Oliver had major surgery where the surgeon removed all he (safely) could but the pathology report confirmed residual cancerous cells. So surgery was followed by 2 more rounds of chemo in the hopes that would kill what was leftover. However, after two months off treatment, Oliver's AFP level (tumor marker) started to rise again and scans confirmed regrowth.

After much despair and sadness, we regrouped and started on "Plan B." Oliver's oncologist selected a new chemo cocktail this time (Taxol, Carboplatin, Ifosfamide). Oliver completed two rounds and the tumor showed a really good response. Then on December 12th, Oliver underwent another major surgery. This time we went to Sloan-Kettering in New York, placing Oliver in the hands of some of the best solid tumor surgeons in the world. The team had to remove the bottom three joints of his sacrum as well as some rectum in order to get the tumor out "en bloc." The surgery, which lasted 12 hours, was a big success with clean margins all around. Next Oliver underwent two more rounds of chemotherapy in January '12 to kill any lingering cancer cells. Now we are in the watch-and-wait phase where Oliver gets regular scans & blood tests and we pray for NED (no evidence of disease.)

Oliver has a world-wide army of family & friends that surround him with love (in person & in spirit). He is an amazingly strong and resilient little boy, and we are committed to doing WHATEVER it takes to help him triumph over this horrible disease.

Latest Journal Update

Back to the Villa

After a 36 hour stay in the Nemour's Children's Hospital, Oliver was released just after lunch today. All of his blood counts came back much more stable and the doctors decided that he could head back to his villa at Give Kids the World. After returning to the villa, we finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and relaxed for the afternoon. We then took a stroll around the village after dark to ride the train and have an ice cream night cap. He was in great spirits and enjoyed romping around the village at night, an opportunity he has yet to have on our stay. 

Oliver is on antibiotics for the next week and will need to rest a lot for the next few days, so we will likely have a few low key days around the village before our (new) flight leaves on Tuesday. There are a lot of activities around the village, but we may squeeze some minor fun around the area if Oliver is up for it.

Thank you to everyone for all the thoughts and concerns during his hospitalization. The folks at GKTW and Make-a-Wish have been very accommodating to allow Oliver to recover before we get back on a plane to NC. 
4 people hearted this



Barbara Smith
By Barbara D. Smith
I'm so glad Ollie is feeling better and is able to take part a little in the activities. Stacy--Happy Mother's Day! Love to you all!

Aunt Barbara
Abby Nardo
By Abby
Happy Mother's Day. Glad Ollie is feeling better.
Peter Watson
By Peter Watson
Happy Mother's Day Stacy! Being a parent is an adventure, and you've gotten more than most. So happy to hear that you all are out of the hospital and Oliver is feeling better. Sounds like rest and relaxation is the order of the day. Take care and enjoy the rest of your stay. We love, love, love you guys! -Peter for the Watson's
Pamela Nevare-Fisher
You all have been through so much as a family. Nice to get some good news on this. God Bless you and Happy Mother's Day!
The Fisher Family
1 person hearted this
Diana smith
What great news! You all have really been in my prayers. I hope you are all geting the needed R&R before you head back to NC.
1 person hearted this
By Love, Wandre
What a blessing all these wonderful organizations are that cater to children and their families when care and love are so needed! We will remember all of them in our prayers of praise and we also thank God for Oliver and this good news!
Jill Dunn
By Jill Dunn
Yay yay yay!!! So happy to hear big dude is back on the go! Enjoy the rest of your stay! Much love sent your way.